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What is probate?

Probate ensures that the decedent’s outstanding debts are paid off, the estate is settled according to their wishes, and the assets are distributed accordingly. You are known as the executor if your loved one passed away with a will and named you as their personal representative. However, if your loved one passed away without a will, the probate court will select an administrator. In either case, you will likely have a lot in your place whether you are the executor or the administrator of your loved one’s estate.

What can I expect during the probate process in Iowa?

The probate process will differ, case-by-case. The process generally progresses in the following steps:

  1. First, you will file a petition with the probate court. This will be done in the town the decedent lived in.
  2. Appoint an executor or administrator who will carry out the estate.
  3. Formally validate the decedent’s last will and testament.
  4. All beneficiaries should be informed of the decedent’s passing.
  5. Inform creditors that the decedent has passed away. This process should include providing them with a means to receive such payments during the probate process.
    • You will then have to settle these debts, even if it means liquidating certain assets the decedent left behind.
  6. Take stock of the decedent’s assets including real estate. Ensure you have them properly valued.
  7. File the decedent’s tax returns. You may also be required to file certain estate taxes in certain cases.
  8. Distribute the decedent’s assets to his or her beneficiaries.
  9. Submit a final report to the probate court and close out the estate.
    • You must prove that you took all necessary steps to legally settle the estate. For this reason, the final report must be meticulous.

To find peace of mind knowing the probate process is successfully completed, retain the services of our experienced Des Moines probate lawyer. Our firm will assist you in submitting a pristine final report. Finally, the court should settle the estate, concluding the probate process. To learn more about our firm and how we can assist you through each step of the process, do not hesitate to reach out to our team today to schedule your initial consultation.

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Herting Law, PLLC, is an Iowa-based law firm that has experience in all criminal matters, including OWIs, drug charges, gun crimes, theft, assault, and more. If you need an estate planning lawyer, our firm can guide you. Whatever the situation, Herting Law, PLLC has you covered.

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